May 2020

Marketing During a Pandemic:
Choose your words carefully

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In addition to upending lives and dramatically changing how companies do business, the pandemic has also turned many words normally used in marketing into potential trouble. Words that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow a few months ago can now feel insensitive or insulting. Your choice of the words used in your marketing materials could potentially create a long-lasting negative perception of your brand.

The best way to avoid offending customers is to always consider your target audience’s state of mind based on the realities they are currently facing.

Just a few examples of words you may want to avoid during a pandemic include:

Viral – Going viral has taken on an entirely new connotation.

Gather – Get together, meet up, join the crowd – statements like these can make your business seem out of touch. It can also trigger the frustration many are experiencing while staying at home.

Killer – Whether it’s a killer deal or a killer view, now is not the time to talk about death lightly.

Spread – Spreading peanut butter would probably be fine but spreading the word or a spreading trend may remind people that COVID-19 continues to spread.

Catch – Another word in the right context that could be completely innocent or bring the fear of catching COVID-19 top of mind.

Obviously this is just a short list of words you may want to avoid using during the present crisis. Best practice is to review any messaging for words that may potentially link your brand to a negative feeling associated with the challenges everyone is experiencing.

If you’d like more information on this topic we invite you to contact us by calling 605-275-0011 or by email.

Stay informed and stay well.

View more Crisis Communication Tips

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